Western Activities Council (WAC) will no longer be co-sponsoring student organizations.
In a unanimous 15-0 vote, the Student Government Association voted on Monday to move co-sponsorship of student organizations away from WAC and to the Financial Oversight Committee. Both are a part of SGA.
Previously, Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) could apply for funding in two different places. If they wanted money for activities on campus, they could apply for co-sponsorship through WAC. If they wanted money to fund a trip or to compete in a competition, they could apply to the FOC. However, this is no more and the FOC will handle both request types.
SGA President Ida Haefner spoke in favor of the change.
“It’s all centralized,” Haefner said. “RSOs now just have to go to one place for funding, whether they want it for co-sponsorship for activities or they want funds to go to competitions or conventions.”
Executive Vice President Brad Stanton was the one who authored the bill amending co-sponsoring.
“It is really just a streamlining of what student organizations can do,” Stanton said. “That’s the reason that we did it. It made sense. If you want money from SGA, you should be able to go to one thing and it made sense for that to Financial Oversight Committee.”
Before the vote Monday night, SGA and WAC had discussed the issue together and reached similar understandings.
“The President and I have had meetings with the leadership of WAC and the advisor of WAC,” Stanton said. “They’ve all agreed that it made sense.”
“We all seem to be pretty well on board with everything,” Haefner said.
While losing the co-sponsorship ability, WAC will remain involved with activities on campus.
“WAC has a lot of functions,” Stanton said. “Co-sponsorship is/was just one of them. In addition to co-sponsorship, WAC hosts $102,000 worth of events each year that are open to all students and usually free… This would just allow them to focus solely on providing events for people on campus.”
WAC will not entirely be losing its voice in student organization funding, either.
“The former co-sponsorship chair from WAC will then become a co-chair with FOC,” Haefner said.
WAC’s budget will change as well. With the change in co-sponsorship, WAC will lose its $20,000 Co-Sponsorship budget and that money will be given to the FOC. WAC will retain its budget for on-campus activities.
“WAC will lose money, but they’ll have the same amount of activity funds to provide activities for students,” Stanton said.
The change in co-sponsorship funding stems from an incident in the previous spring semester involving the Spanish Club and WAC. The Spanish Club was denied funding by WAC for an event it was planning to host on campus.
The Spanish Club and its president Gage Williams appealed WAC’s decision.
“We were denied funding, which is kind of weird,” Williams said. “We were asking to have funding for the specific Tomi Tango Trio, which we had the previous year. Then for this year they didn’t approve it.”
“I think it all came down to a misunderstanding in between the two groups,” Haefner said.
“Over the summer we saw that this had happened,” Stanton said. “We reached out to the Spanish Club to be like ‘hey, SGA wants to make this right. The Senate wants to make this right.’”
In another unanimous decision on Monday night, SGA voted to overturn WAC’s decision and give Spanish Club the requested $3,500, with any unused portion being returned to SGA. Despite receiving funding, however, the complications and delay in getting the requested funds has caused the Spanish Club to put off some of the events it was planning had it received the funds last spring.
“This guy [from the Tango group] wants to have the event early next month, which would give us about fifteen days to plan it once we did get the money approved,” Williams said. “So, we looked at it and figured it’d be wiser to spend the money a little more cautiously since we’re having a hard time getting funded. We’re trying to figure out what to do. We postponed it [the trio] until next year.”